A recent spike in the number of cattle on the loose in Harper County has the sheriff’s office asking the community for help.
The Harper County Sheriff’s Office estimates fuel costs to respond to the reports of cattle at-large at about $5,500 already this year as full-time deputies have had to work as part-time cowboys.
‘We’ve seen our cattle-call volume increase as of late. We usually average about 22 to 25 calls a month, and in the month of July, it’s up to 53,” says Harper County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kenny Hodson.
Hodson says seven out of 10 times, the owners of cattle on the loose can be reached. But when they can’t…
‘…If we can’t, we try and put them up ourselves,” he says.
Hodson says deputies don’t mind helping out, and it’s just part of the job.
In a recent post to its Facebook page, the Harper County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to the community to help keep the cattle-call number down. It’s asking anyone with cattle in the area to reach out to the sheriff’s office with branding information and phone numbers to reach owners more quickly.
Rex Gates runs a local livestock auction with his son. He says the issue with cattle calls is a tricky one.
“It doesn’t matter how good a fence. A lot of barbed wire fences here, but also, a lot of electric fences. This time of year, it’s hard to keep them in.”
The reason: Gates explains cattle are looking for greener pastures after it’s been dry for most of the summer.
The Harper County Sheriff’s Office says it sees about five to 10 cattle-related wrecks per year. It’s a problem for everyone, including Gates and other cowboys in the area.
“In our community, we all work together. They may be your cattle, and (if) we get the call, we are going to put them in, and vice versa,” he says.
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